Meschac Gaba, ‘Diplomatique (Sudan) ’, 2008, Stevenson

About Meschac Gaba

Beninese conceptual artist Meschac Gaba explores themes of globalization, consumerism, and the Western museum through acts of artistic appropriation. Gaba first emerged on the international art scene with his 12-part project The Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997–2002), which concluded at Documenta XI. His nomadic museum comprised 12 rooms—including the Wedding Room, Library, Game Room, and the Salon—that were exhibited separately in several countries. The “museum” set forth a sort of living biography of the artist (Gaba was actually married in the Wedding Room in 2000), as well as positing a biting critique of the power of Western cultural conventions. In more recent work, Gaba has created objects and sculptures from braided hair extensions that are popular with African-Americans and the diaspora. The extensions, which originated in West Africa, form models of the World Financial Center, the Guggenheim—rendered all in black—and other buildings, and vehicles from the United States and Benin.

Beninese, b. 1961, Cotonou, Benin, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands